The Comptroller-General of Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), Hameed Ali, on Monday said Nigeria’s land borders with neighbouring Benin and Niger Republics will not be reopened until the two countries address the issues that led to the closures in August 2019.
Speaking with reporters after the opening ceremony of the 2020 International Customs Day in Abuja, Ali said, “I believe that as soon as we are able to get to them (neighbouring countries), we will relax certain things at the borders. For now, we are still conducting our partial border closure under the drill.”
He said Nigeria was still in discussion with the neighbouring countries to reach a concrete agreement on the border reopening.
“We are still talking with them. There are parameters of understanding. We have reached certain understanding. We are still going through many refining of some of those things.
“We need a process and a situation whereby our border is secured and we are guaranteed that all the manners we find in our borders will no longer be there. I believe that as soon as we are able to get to them, we will relax certain things at the borders. For now, we are still conducting our partial border closure under the drill.
“We are expecting that not too long from now, when we get responsive adherence from our neighbours we will know how we can work together to fortify our borders. We are not only talking about Nigeria, we are also asking them to ensure that their borders are also fortified from our own illicit trafficking,” he said.
Presenting the goodwill message of the World Customs Organization Secretary, Deputy Comptroller General of the NCS Ronke Olubiyi sought the enlargement of the “Digital Customs” agenda with greater emphasis on the use of modern technologies, including a high-performance, paperless Single Window environment and a solid It infrastructure.
She called for the expeditious implementation of the WCO framework of standards on cross-border e-commerce to leverage e-commerce opportunities in an inclusive manner, while effectively tackling the associated challenges.
The theme of this year’s International Customs Day is “Customs fostering sustainability for people, prosperity and the planet.”
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